Asperger Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger. Milder than the other autism spectrum disorders, this particular disability causes significant impairment in the social interaction and communication skills of a person. People suffering from this disorder are reported to display physical clumsiness and atypical use of language. The behavioral pattern and interests of such individuals is also extremely restricted and unusual in nature. A pervasive developmental disorder, the exact cause for the syndrome is not known until date. The symptoms of Asperger Syndrome, though typical, vary from individual to individual, just like other autism disorders. Read on to know more about the causes and symptoms of Asperger Syndrome.
Causes Of Asperger Syndrome
Not much is known about the causes of Asperger Syndrome, till date. However, the disorder is thought to be linked to a strong genetic component. Though no specific gene has yet been claimed behind this autism spectrum disorder, multiple factors are believed to play a significant role in this particular expression of autism. The genetic link is given emphasis because it has been observed that there is a higher incidence of the disorder in a person whose family members have behavioral symptoms similar to Asperger Syndrome. A few of the cases of the disorder have also been linked to exposure to teratogens i.e. agents that cause birth defects during the first eight weeks from conception.
Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome
- A person diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome lacks social sense and has inborn social deficiencies, such as being unable to read others' body language, difficulty in starting or maintaining a conversation, failure to take turns while talking, and so on.
- Asperger patients do not like any kind of changes in their routine life. They prefer to maintain the same lifestyle everyday.
- The sense of empathy that is usually seen in individuals is something that is inborn. However, a person with Asperger Syndrome lacks this particular trait.
- People with this disorder usually have a flat speech, which lacks a specific tone, pitch or accent. Apart from this, they do not understand subtle differences in speech tone, pitch and accent in other people's speech as well. So, they might not be able to understand a joke or a sarcastic comment and take everything literally or by the face of it.
- An Asperger-affected person generally has an advanced style of speech. He/she speaks very formally and prefers to use formal terms instead of causal ones. For instance, a child would use the term 'beckon' instead of 'call'.
- Avoiding eye contact or staring at others constantly is often seen in an individual diagnosed with the disorder.
- Unusual face expressions or atypical standing, walking or sitting postures have been observed in Asperger patients.
- Such patients are observed to be highly talkative, when it comes to discussing their favorite subjects. Dwelling in one sided conversations and verbalized internal thoughts are a common feature in Asperger Syndrome.
- Delayed motor development is another symptom that is present in Asperger patients. Simple things like making them learn how to eat with a spoon or fork or catch a ball can prove to be quite difficult a task.
- Such individuals have heightened sensitivity and become over stimulated by loud noises, harsh lights, strong tastes and texture, etc.
- Asperger patients are preoccupied with only one or few interests. However, he/she would be most knowledgeable about the subject. Usual activities such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy may be their favorite pastimes.